My favorite things I bought last year

One of the Month of Faves prompts was “5 Purchases That Were Totally Worth It,” and I didn’t participate because I only had one purchase…or so I thought. Turns out I actually wound up buying some other stuff–some of which I didn’t get around to using or buying until after the prompt date. So, my favorite things I bought last year:

1. My house. I bought a house. It’s great. All the wall colors are colors I want. It’s still not fully unpacked yet, but that’s okay.

2. Hamilton tickets. This was a Christmas gift for my daughter. We’re going to see the show in March (in New York). Obviously,  I couldn’t post about this before Christmas, so.

3. Yoga gear. Okay, so I went back to yoga last year, and I finally wound up buying actual yoga pants and actual yoga tops, and it has made such a HUGE difference. I no longer have to worry about my pants riding down or my top riding up. The lack of self-consciousness about my clothes also means I can concentrate better on what I’m actually doing in yoga.

4. This laptop stand. Okay, so I was at my friend Amber’s for a work date, and I was telling her how using my laptop (and my phone) have started making me feel dizzy and nauseated. I realized it was because I kept looking down to use them. So she just nods and whips out her husband’s laptop stand for me to use, and I immediately went home and ordered one. When I’m sitting at the table using it, it puts my laptop screen at actual EYE LEVEL so I’m not craning my neck down when I’m working. I MAY LOVE THIS MORE THAN MY HOUSE. It is a game changer.

laptop stand

The laptop stand in action. I wasn’t working in the dark–I took this picture to show my mom how it looks on the table.


So, yes, I am sitting on my couch with my lapboard using the laptop stand RIGHT NOW as I type this post. Also, that is my library’s homepage on my screen. Of course.

5. A trip to Atlanta. Last year, I got my daughter Adele tickets for Christmas. The closest show was in Atlanta (or Miami, and I was not going to Miami), so off we went. As a bonus, I got to visit my two favorite godsisters. Also, Adele was magical.

So, yeah. I regret nothing.

“I was a professional amateur DJ.”

I’m supposed to be writing up my yearly self-evaluation, so now seems as good time as any to write a blog post.


So dumb. So cute. (via)

So dumb. So cute. (via)


1. I continue to be in love with The Good Place. Jason Mendoza is the dumbest person alive (well, dead), and I may love him for it. Also, he died in the most Florida Man way possible. I mean, seriously. I can see the headline (highlight to read because spoilers): Florida Man Suffocates to Death in Failed Robbery Attempt. I laughed, but also: Jason. Seriously.

So much props to the writers/music people for using *NSYNC’s “Digital Get Down” at the end of the previous episode, btw. Perfection.


Swing Time by Zadie Smith


2. I abandoned Swing Time by Zadie Smith for the time being. It was just taking too long to get going. I did, however, put the audiobook on hold because I think the narrative might be better suited to that form for me. I am interested. It’s just not keeping my attention.


Giant Days, Vol. 2 by John Allison


3. I just started Giant Days by John Allison after trying–and failing–to get into Black Panther (yes, the Ta-Nehisi Coates one). I am also having trouble gaining traction on any novels, so a graphic one seems like the best way to go. Anyway, Giant Days does what I love: regular teens/young adults doing regular things. It’s also told in episodic vignettes, which is a thing I dig.


Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen


4. My daughter has been after me to read Water for Elephants since last year (so dramatic! Last year = November). So that’s currently all up in my eardrums (translation: audiobook). No surprises here but I totally prefer old Jake to young Jake. What can I say? Old people and teenagers are my favorites.

5. Oh, so this is a thing that has happened: I checked out this book from the library, lost it, found it, and promptly lost it again. IT IS DRIVING ME CRAZY. I know it is in my house somewhere, but I cannot for the life of me figure out where it can be. ESPECIALLY since I brought in with all the other library books and have those in a neat stack. Where did it disappear to? How? My mistake was not immediately returning it to the library when I found it and instead thinking I could actually read it. Because it’s not like I would lose it again or anything. UGH. WORST.


Women's March


6. I officially decided yesterday that I’m going to the Women’s March. Not the local one, but the big one in D.C. The past two days subsequently have been a whirlwind of ordering stuff off of Amazon in preparation (God bless Amazon Prime, seriously). Most importantly, I couldn’t find a proper jacket in town (which is dumb because it actually gets cold here–I’m talking below 32˚ each winter), but whatever. I have one now. Also, I wish I had decided in time to buy my metro card in advance. Bah.

Now I just need to figure out what books I’m going to listen to on the loooooooong bus ride there. Cross your fingers/pray/wish/hope/dream that it doesn’t rain that day. Sunshine would also be pretty awesome.

7. All these grown-up books means I’m linking up with The Book Date this week. Happy reading, everyone!

Picking Favorites: Jan. 14, 2017 Links

I am still trying to figure out a good way to title these posts. Also! I made a nifty little graphic for my link roundups, and I have been patting myself on the back rather hard about it.


Amal and her twins wrote a retelling of Anne of Green Gables together! — Anusha of Prospect Corner: A Sri Lankan-American Anne of Green Gables

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First Full Week Back: Monday check-in

I only met with my students once last week, so this week is the full grind. A miracle occurred today, though! I didn’t bring any work home. The key seems to be going back to my office to do work instead of leaving immediately after class. Imagine that.

The rest of last week is a blur, for sure. All that course prep makes my brain go to mush. Oh, and I forgot to post this e-card a friend sent me when I was complaining about course prep last week, so here it is now:

Now that I’m back, of course, I’m fine (and even in the zone). But, man, that prep week is whoa.

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Picking Favorites: Link Roundup for 1.07.2017

Naz has curated a list of short story collections/anthologies for your consideration and discusses some of the challenges/benefits of reading short stories.

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Goals for 2017

For this year, I have decided not to participate in any reading challenges except for one, which I don’t even really consider a challenge since it’s what I planned to do anyway. Let’s call it a reading community, shall we?



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It’s Monday & I go back to work TOMORROW

No, I’m not ready. Before the break, my boss called me to tell me she had to change one of my classes because she was afraid it wasn’t going to make. Turns out she was right: the class she switched me to had eight people in it after two days, and it’s currently full. Meanwhile, one of my other classes still has fewer than ten people so I feel like I may get another surprise switch tomorrow. It’s cool, though. I am prepped for the other possibility. It’s just a matter of getting everything in the LMS before classes start. (Did I mention they start Wednesday?)

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2016 End of Year Book Survey

Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 92
Number of Audiobooks: 6
Number of Rereads: 5
Number Unfinished/Abandoned: 8

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and ScientologyTroublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, so I listened to this on audio, which I think made it just that much more amazing.

Leah is a complete badass and spills ALL THE TEA. All of it. Every last drop. My girl names names and everything. ALL OF THE NAMES.

I love this book. Love, love, love. Remini is fierce and funny and also a little hood, which I completely appreciated.

Read Harder 2016: Read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction)

View all my reviews

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Other Stuff That Rocked in 2016

I am guessing this prompt means TV because, really, the two constants in my entertainment life are books and TV.


Even though it got canceled, I’m really happy The Grinder is a thing that happened.

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Top Ten Books of 2016

No re-reads allowed, I am guessing. That would be a cheat, yes? So here are the ten books I’ve enjoyed the most (so far–there are still three days left!) this year. Also, there are really eleven books but two of them are by the same author, so.

A Month of Faves


Archie, Vol. 1: The New RiverdaleArchie, Vol. 1: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this so, so much. It was everything I ever wanted from Archie but didn’t know I needed.

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